[Sca-cooks] brewing

Kerri Martinsen kerri.martinsen at gmail.com
Sun Jun 22 05:43:12 PDT 2008

Can I be you when I grow up?


Sent from my iPod

On Jun 21, 2008, at 10:04 PM, Dragon <dragon at crimson-dragon.com> wrote:

> Betsy Marshall did speak thusly:
>> The joy of Homebrewing  by Charles Papazian has all you'll ever  
>> need to
>> know- I recommend starting with one of the used volumes
>> http://www.amazon.com/New-Complete-Joy-Home-Brewing/dp/0380763664
> ---------------- End original message. ---------------------
> As popular as that book is, it is not a very good reference for  
> making GOOD beer.
> His methods and recipes are workable, sometimes even palatable, but  
> they are not GOOD.
> One of my biggest bones to pick with his stuff (and mind you it has  
> been a while since I last read it) is that he never talks about  
> proper quantities of yeast to use. His recommendations on how much  
> yeast to use are far below what professional brewers use and it  
> shows in the results. Slow fermentations and off-flavors are to be  
> expected with such small quantities of yeast.
> To put it in perspective, he recommends using dry yeast as is  
> without creating a starter or pitching the amount of yeast you get  
> from a smack-pack. This very often results in DAYS of no indication  
> of fermentation. A more effective strategy (and one that produces  
> better beer) is to use a far greater volume of yeast. For a typical  
> 6 gallon batch, I would pitch a full quart of active yeast slurry  
> which I had grown into a starter of sufficient volume over the week  
> or so before I brewed. My fermentations were active within an hour  
> or so and done in about a third the time they took following the  
> recommendations given by Papazian.
> I also vehemently disagree with his recommendation to use champagne  
> yeast for fermenting meads. That strain of yeast ferments things  
> bone dry and leaves a nasty taste (IMO). There are much better  
> yeasts to use.
> Steeping grains in a grain bag is a bad process he recommends for  
> augmenting the flavors of extract brews. These grains should be  
> mashed at an appropriate starch conversion temperature, not allowed  
> to steep at the temperatures he recommends (close to boiling). Then  
> they should be properly sparged. Following his method leaches a lot  
> of tannins into the wort, this is not good because it changes the  
> flavor in an undesirable way and adds to the formation of sediment  
> in the beer. I'm also not a big fan of extract brews in general, you  
> simply can't make certain types of beer with extract and even when  
> you can, the process of extracting all the water from it to make a  
> syrup both darkens it and changes the flavor profile leaving it with  
> a canned, cooked taste.
> I am sure I could criticize a lot more items if I went back and re- 
> read his book again, but I am far beyond that level. I learned a lot  
> from professional brewers and Chris White (of White Labs, a yeast  
> supplier to the brewing industry) back when I was actively brewing.
> One of these days I'll get back into it and I really ought to write  
> the book that should replace that one.
> Dragon
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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